I wasn't born here, but I grew up here, went to high school here, and left for 13 years to go to college and start my family and career. Returning in 2006, Walla Walla is not the town it was when I left in 1993. Wine industry tourists going from shop to shop have replaced mud-covered 4x4's cruising the streets. The Historic Downtown is thriving; the Blue Mountain Mall is an unmitigated disaster.
The point is that things change -- and we need to be ready to evolve to meet those changes and the challenges that come along with them. Otherwise we risk becoming stagnate, and settling for less than what we should strive for.
Ask yourself, would you want your surgeon to be up to date and fully trained on the latest innovations and technologies before going under the knife? Would you want your attorney to be up to speed on the latest case law before advising you of your legal position?
Would you want your mechanic to understand late model fuels injection systems before trying to fix your new car? Or would you prefer that your surgeon, attorney, and mechanic simply do it the same way it has always been done, because that is how they have always done it, and just hope for the best?
Electing our officials is no different, and particularly with law enforcement. Before law school I obtained a degree in criminal justice. Criminal justice is an ever evolving science -- just like law, medicine and mechanics. Techniques and strategies are refined, and new approaches are developed. Doing things the way they have always been done is simply not good enough.
I have met with John Turner and had the opportunity to experience his character and passion first hand. His broad and extensive experience is unmatched and undisputed. The issues facing Walla Walla law enforcement continue to evolve. Relying on past practices is not likely to be adequate. Let's not settle for the status quo, or reject a candidate because he is not "local" enough.
Instead, let's pick the most qualified candidate for the job.
I urge everyone to join me in taking advantage of this opportunity to elect a sheriff with world-class training and experience to help lead law enforcement to meet the new challenges and issues facing our county.
Brandon L. Johnson